Historic Preservation

Architectural Styles

The Riverside Avondale Historic District is a textbook of Florida’s architecture from the 1890s to the early 1930s. No other neighborhood in the state has such a diverse and extensive collection of architectural styles. Here are some examples of the styles found in our “Great American Neighborhood.”

Queen Anne Style

Examples: 717 Post Street, 632 May Street

717 Post St. Queen Anne style house The Queen Anne, the most picturesque of late nineteenth century American domestic styles, is present in Riverside both in its pure form and through its influence on vernacular buildings. However, the Avondale and West Avondale Districts post-date the period during which the Queen Anne was popular, and thus contain few examples of the style. The Queen Anne style is characterized by a variety of forms, textures, colors, and materials. The basis for the Queen Anne style can be traced to England, but it developed its own distinctive character in America. Like the Colonial Revival style, it was introduced to the general public at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and was well received. It was widely publicized in illustrations and press reports, and American architects began to employ the style, which reached its zenith of popularity in the 1880s and 1890s.

Colonial Revival Style

Examples: 1630 Copeland, 3105 St. John’s Avenue, 1116-1126 Acosta St.

Dutch Colonial style house Colonial Revival was the dominant style for American residential architecture during the first half of the twentieth century. In Florida, however, the popularity of the style during the era was eclipsed by the Bungalow and Spanish Revival styles. The term “Colonial Revival” refers to a rebirth of interest in the early English and Dutch houses of the Atlantic Seaboard. The Georgian and Adam styles were the backbone of the Revival, which also drew upon Post-medieval English and Dutch Colonial architecture for references. The Colonial Revival style was introduced at the Philadelphia Exposition of 1876. The centennial of the Declaration of Independence sparked renewed interest in the architecture of the colonial period. Many of the buildings designed for the Exposition were based on historically significant colonial designs. Publicity on the Exposition occurred simultaneously with efforts made by several national organizations to preserve Old South Church in Boston and Mount Vernon. About the same time a series of articles focusing on eighteenth century American architecture appeared in the American Architect and Harpers. The publicity the Colonial Revival Style received helped to make it popular throughout the country.

Georgian Revival Style

Examples: 1854 Montgomery Place, 3248 Riverside Ave.

Georgian Revival style house Typical features of Georgian Revival buildings are the highly symmetrical facades, Palladian windows, central pedimented pavilions, belt courses, and eaves detailed as classical cornices. The typical expression of this style in Riverside and Avondale is a dark-red brick house with sharply contrasting, crisp classical details, constructed from about 1905 to the 1930s.

Shingle Style

Examples: 2717 Riverside Ave., 2799 Riverside Ave.

Shingle Style house The Shingle Style originated in the seacoast towns of New England towards the end of the Victorian Era, and became a popular alternative to the exuberance of the Queen Anne Style. This style emphasized the exterior surface of the building, which was usually uniformly covered with stained shingles. The porch posts and roof dormers were sometimes covered with shingles as well. The roof eaves found in the Shingle Style were usually abbreviated, however, some examples found in Riverside and Avondale contain broad overhangs in response to the Florida sun.

Prairie Style

Examples: 1804 Elizabeth Pl., 2059 Riverside Avenue, 2821 Riverside Avenue

2821 Riverside Ave.

Prairie Style house The Prairie Style, one of only a few indigenous American architectural forms, was developed by a creative association of Chicago architects in the 1890’s. The leading proponent of the style was Frank Lloyd Wright, whose Winslow Homer Residence, constructed in 1893, was perhaps the first residence designed in the style. The heaviest concentrations of Prairie style buildings are located in the Midwest, although pattern books helped to distribute vernacular forms of the style throughout the country. The style was popular during the first two decades of the twentieth century. The leading proponent of the Prairie Style in Florida was Jacksonville architect, Henry John Klutho. The Riverside Avondale Historic District may have the largest concentration of buildings reflecting the Prairie Style outside of the Midwest.

The Bungalow

Examples: 2826 Post St., 2770 Oak St., 1355 Hollywood Ave.

Bungalow style house The Bungalow is the domestic building style most common to Riverside and Avondale. It is most numerous in Riverside, but is also found in significant numbers in Avondale. The earliest American Bungalows appeared in the 1890s, but they only became widespread after the turn of the century when plans began to appear in such publications as Bungalow Magazine and The Craftsman. Bungalows came in various shapes and forms, but small size, simplicity and economy generally characterized the style.

The Bungalows in Riverside and Avondale generally have a rectangular ground plan, with the narrowest side oriented toward the street. They have gently sloping gable over gable roofs that face the street. A variety of exterior materials are employed including weatherboard, shingles, and stucco. There are often lattice roof vents in the gable ends. The porches are dominated by short, oversized, tapered or square columns that rest on heavy brick piers connected by a balustrade. Rafter ends are usually exposed and often carved in decorative patterns to combine structure and ornament. Wood sash windows usually have three lights in the upper unit and one in the lower, although there are many examples of multi-light sash or casement windows.

Gothic Revival Style

Examples: 2841 Riverside Ave., 855 Park St., 1100 Stockton St.

Both the Gothic Revival Style and the Jacobethan Revival Styles originated from early English and European precedents. Characterized by the use of pointed arches and steeply pitched gables, the Gothic Revival Style has been displayed in numerous phases and sub-types such as the High Victorian, Collegiate, Carpenter and Skyscraper Gothic. The Jacobethan Revival, which reflects more Elizabethan architecture, is characterized by the use of masonry with a lighter stone trim around window and door frames, quoins, parapets, rounded arches, and other decorative details.

Tudor Revival Style

Examples: 1816 Avondale Cir., 2160 Oak St., 3855 St. John’s Ave.

Tudor Revival style house The Tudor Revival Style first became popular in America during the first three decades of the twentieth century. It was loosely based on a combination of references to the architecture of early sixteenth century Tudor England and a variety of Medieval English prototypes ranging from thatched roof folk cottages to grand manor houses. The first American examples of the style were built in the late nineteenth century and tended to be large landmark buildings rather closely related to the English precedents. When the style was adapted to smaller residential designs, however, it lost much of its resemblance to English antecedents.

Jacobethan Revival Style

Examples: 1822 Edgewood Ave., 2263 River Blvd.

Jacobethan Revival style house Both the Gothic Revival Style and the Jacobethan Revival Styles originated from early English and European precedents. Characterized by the use of pointed arches and steeply pitched gables, the Gothic Revival Style has been displayed in numerous phases and sub-types such as the High Victorian, Collegiate, Carpenter and Skyscraper Gothic. The Jacobethan Revival, which reflects more Elizabethan architecture, is characterized by the use of masonry with a lighter stone trim around window and door frames, quoins, parapets, rounded arches, and other decorative details.

Mediterranean Revival Style

Examples: 3116 St. John’s Ave., 2063 Oak St., 3404 St. John’s Ave.

Mediterranean Revival style house Mediterranean Revival Style is an eclectic style containing architectural elements with Spanish and Italian precedents. Reflecting similarities in climate with the Mediterranean region and the Spanish colonial heritage, the Southwestern U.S. and Florida were where this style became most popular during the 1920s. The influence of those Mediterranean styles found expression through a detailed study in 1915 of Latin American architecture made by Bertram Grovesnor Goodhue at the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego. The Goodhue exhibit prominently featured the rich Spanish architectural variety of South America. Encouraged by the publicity afforded the exposition, other architects began to look directly to Spain and elsewhere in the Mediterranean where they found still more interesting building traditions. Architect Addison Mizner did much to popularize this style in Florida.  Examples of the Mediterranean Revival Style are found throughout the Riverside Avondale Historic District, but are more numerous in Avondale, which developed more during the 1920s when the style was in its heyday.

Art Deco & Art Moderne

Examples: 3225 St John’s Ave., 2753 Park St., 2665 Park St.

Art Deco style restaurant Art Deco was the first of the modernistic styles to become popular in America. It represented a complete break with traditional design, emphasizing futuristic concepts rather than invoking architectural antecedents. The style received its name from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs and Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925. Like the European Art Nouveau movement of the 1890s and early twentieth century, Art Deco was an artistic movement that transcended all areas of the art world from painting to architecture. Its decorative geometric patterns were mimicked in a wide variety of products including household appliances, clothing, furniture, and jewelry. Art Deco was most popular as a commercial building style during the 1920s and early 1930s because its decorative designs were especially suited to tall buildings. The Art Moderne, which was an outgrowth of the Art Deco Style, emphasized more smooth streamlined and gently curving surfaces.

Eclectics & Exotics

*Examples: 1545 May St., 2100 Myra St., 2776 Lydia St.

Eclectic Exotic style house Some buildings defy being fitted into a neat stylistic category. In fact, many structures in Riverside Avondale do not exemplify any single style, but exhibit characteristics of several styles. These hybrids are described as “eclectic” and quite often they are the result of an inventive merger of the features and concepts of differing architectural modes. Sometimes one historical style may have an influence on another subsequent style, and the result is a “transitional” building. A common example of this in Riverside is the combination of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles – asymmetrical two-story houses with classic-columned verandas, ornamental windows and decorative gables and dormers. Still other buildings are such a personal invention by their designer that it is difficult to match them with historical precedents. Overall, these architectural permutations contribute much to the neighborhood context. Their eclecticism does not detract from their beauty or significance – rather, it gives Riverside – Avondale a delightful texture and variety.